A Structuration Frame for Social Enterprise and an agricultural example

Jesse Dillard - , Madeline Pullman -


Social enterprise represents an alternative to the traditional, economic value maximizing work organization. We describe a structuration theory based model useful in considering alternative business models and associated management systems that might support what we term as values-based organizations. We use a case study of a sustainable beef cooperative to illustrate the model's application. Transparent information systems that transit the supply chain as well as facilitating performance evaluation and reward systems are a key in organizational success. Unique product attributes acquired through the production process must be traced and transmitted along the entire supply chain so that the sustainable characteristics and processes are communicated to the end customer. The model presented is useful in indicating where organizational structure and the information systems support sustainable business models and processes as well as indicating where strategic partnerships would advantageous. We illustrate the theory based model by reporting on a privately owned firm operating in a specialty industry sector. The organization provides an example of how a facilitating organizational structure can emerge out of the application of a company's core values.


Social Enterprise, Sustainability, Structuration, Values, Value Chain, Food

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4485/ea2038-5498.89-108


Registered by the Cancelleria del Tribunale di Pavia N. 685/2007 R.S.P. – electronic ISSN 2038-5498


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